Time & Billing Settings
To access your firm's time and billing settings, start by clicking the settings gear icon near the top right of your page. You will see two different options that apply to Time & Billing on the left sidebar: Invoices and Time Tracking / Expenses.
Note: all of the settings found on both of those pages will apply firm-wide, as opposed to being for an individual user.
Let's start by walking through each setting found on the Time Tracking / Expenses page.
Here you can select how precisely you would like to track your time entries. By default, the system will automatically track one decimal point. For example, if you log an activity session for one hour and 10 minutes, this would be logged as 1.2 hours.
If you would like to have more precision for your time entries, you can opt to track your time with two decimal points. In the example given above, the time would be logged as 1.17 hours.
Prepend Activity Type to Description
When tracking time and expenses, you will have the option to enter a description for the log. Each log will also have one of your activity types (see below) selected.
This setting allows you to include the name of the activity type at the beginning of the description by default. In the example shown below, you will see that the description was entered manually as "Researched something really cool", and then the Activity Type was automatically added to the beginning of that description.
This description will be visible internally, as well as on the client's invoice if you have the description column selected.
Show Flat Fee Duration
Customize if you would like the time entries on your invoices to show the amount of time that was logged, or just the total amount billed for that time. For example, if you are billing for 5 hours at a rate of $100/hr, with this setting turned on the invoice would show the time entry of 5 hours as well as the amount billed. With this setting turned off, the invoice would only show a time entry of $500, as opposed to the number of hours.
When logging time in Lawmatics you will need to select which of your activity types that log is for. To create your activity types in settings, click the New Activity Type button, shown near the bottom right in the image below.
You will be prompted to give your activity type a name, set a default rate (if you would like), select whether or not is a flat fee activity, and assign a color.
You can also come back to this page at any point to edit your existing activity types or add additional types as needed.
In addition to activity types for time entries, you will also create standard types for your firm's various expenses. These are tracked on a flat fee basis with a default cost set for each expense.
When logging an expense, you will select the type of expense and if that expense has a default cost then that default will automatically populate. However, you can always override the default when logging an expense if needed.
After you have made these selections, navigate to the Invoices page found on the left sidebar and you will see the following options listed below.
This setting gives you the option to choose a default email address for the sending of your invoices, this is who the email will appear "from" when it is sent. If you do not choose a default, then the invoice email will come from whichever of your Lawmatics users is manually sending an invoice. With the default option turned on, you can either select a specific User email, or enter a custom email.
This setting is particularly important if you plan on sending your invoices via automation, or triggering an automation once an invoice is paid. Your invoice types allow you to not only set a default amount for different types of invoices, but you can also select from these types in an automation to trigger the appropriate action based on the type of invoice.
Learn more about invoice automations here.
Invoice Fields Visibility
The main purpose of tracking your time and expenses in Lawmatics is to be able to able to invoice your matters accordingly for the time spent on their respective cases. This setting allows you to select which fields will all be visible on your invoices for both time and expenses.
You may wish to keep all of the available options selected, or you can click the edit pencil to the right, shown below, to remove certain selections. In the example below, you will see that we have removed the Description and User fields from the Time Entries Columns.
Now, when invoices are sent for time entries the invoice will appear like the sample below. Notice how it contains all of the fields shown above with the exception of Description and User.
Default Tax Adjustment
Use this setting to set a default percentage or flat amount for tax adjustments. While the default can be overridden when creating an invoice if necessary, setting a default will save you the time of entering a tax amount on each invoice if your firm does have a standard rate or amount.
The adjustment can be applied to the invoice subtotal, expenses, or time entries, as shown in the example below. It can also be selected as a flat amount or as a percentage.
Invoice Email Message
When sending an invoice via Lawmatics the invoice will always send as a PDF attachment to an email. This setting allows you to create a custom message that will be sent with your invoices.
Note that you can create a different email template for the invoice versus the online payment email, using the two tabs shown at the top of the image above.
Once you type in your message, make sure you also click the Save button at the bottom of your page.
Time Tracking Settings (Found on My Settings page)
You will not find this section on the Time/Billing Settings page, rather head to the My Settings page, found near the top left of the settings sidebar menu.
It is important to note that this setting is individual for each user, so each of your users will have the option to set a default billing rate respectively. When each user comes to their My Settings page, they can populate the default billing rate, or click the button highlighted below to add additional default rates for each activity type.
When adding a new rate, simply select which activity type the rate is for, enter the rate, select whether or not it is flat fee, and then click save.
Once you have set a default rater for a particular activity type for your user, then when logging an activity of that type, it will use your user rate as opposed to the standard firm rate for that activity.
Will all of my firm's users have access to the Time/Billing Settings?
You can set custom user roles by going to settings > manage users. Here you can manage your firm's various roles and choose whether or not to give them access to the Time/Billing Settings.
Are there settings to customize the invoice that is sent for time and/or expenses?
You can customize the columns that are visible on your invoices for both time and expenses as well as the email message sent with your invoice, but there are no further customizations available at this time.